Forest Bathing

I’m several days late, but I hope everyone in the USA had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day! I hope everyone else had wonderful days as well.

EJ looks forward to deer hunting season all year long. He always goes hunting at a beautiful 100-acre woods on the other side of the state that is owned by his friend’s family. EJ has been friends with the family for many years, and when he was younger he helped plant the trees that he now hunts in, which I think is cool. There are cozy heated deer blinds set up in various locations in the forest. I am usually glad that EJ is able to go hunting, but with his health problems this year I was concerned. EJ was struggling with dizziness and high blood pressure and I didn’t want him to get in an accident driving there or have a stroke in the forest. But EJ was able to get his blood pressure down, and his friend said he’d keep an eye on him, so EJ left a week ago Monday (November 19) and returned the following Wednesday evening.

I do think being is a beautiful forest is peaceful and relaxing and reduces stress. The Japanese actually have a practice called “forest bathing” in which they just be with trees. As described in the interesting article, The Japanese Practice of ‘Forest Bathing’ is Scientifically Proven to Improve Your Health, there is no hiking, no counting steps on a Fitbit. You can sit or meander, but the point is to relax rather than accomplish anything. The Japanese practice of  forest bathing is proven to lower heart rate and blood pressure, reduce stress hormone production, boost the immune system, and improve overall feelings of wellbeing. Forest bathing—basically just being in the presence of trees—became part of a national public health program in Japan in 1982 when the forestry ministry coined the phrase shinrin-yoku and promoted topiary as therapy. 

EJ said he saw many deer, but he didn’t really feel like shooting any this year, partly (I think) because his hand was still healing from his surgery. Instead, he sat in the quiet forest and pondered his next steps in life.

Some of my latest creations. They will be listed at my Etsy store soon.

On Thanksgiving Day EJ volunteered to fix our holiday meal so I could continue crocheting. I have several orders to complete, and I having been work from morning until night on them, stopping only to do necessary tasks. EJ has actually been doing a lot of cooking lately so I can work. Although I am working hard, I feel a bit lazy. I mean, I’m sitting in my comfy chair with Hannah Joy sleeping on my lap, sipping cups of coffee or hot chocolate, enjoying the wild birds at the feeders outside my window, and watching Netflix or Amazon Prime as I crochet. 🙂

I grew up in a large family (six kids) and when I was younger, I loved the happy chaos of the holidays. But these days, I appreciate quiet, stress-free, non-hectic holidays. EJ fixed some of the traditional foods, like turkey and stuffing, but we didn’t go overboard and we enjoyed our quiet day.

Once the turkey was in the oven, EJ and I drove to Meijers so I could buy some yarn which was on sale. Meijers was one of the few stores open on Thanksgiving Day. There weren’t many people in the store, for which we were thankful. That all changes on Black Friday–the day after Thanksgiving–when people go crazy over the sales. I’ve heard of people getting up at 3 a.m. to stand in line at stores so they can be among the first to grab items when the stores open. It’s ridiculous how crazy people get. EJ and I have always stayed far, far away from stores on Black Friday. No item–no matter how big the sale–is worth fighting over.

My Turkey Potpie

Sunday I made several homemade potpies from leftover turkey. It’s one of my annual traditions. I baked one for us to eat and frozen the others. Yum. I think homemade potpie is my favorite food.

We had a couple of warmer days that melted our snow. The cold and snow returned, but we only have maybe an inch of snow on the ground. Southern Michigan was hit by much more snow. I always chuckle when that happens because as when we decided to move Northern Michigan, everyone was surprised that we were moving further north instead of to southern states, and they told us that Northern Michigan was beautiful but they’d hate to have to deal with all the snow in the Winter. So I kind of enjoy pointing out to friends in southern Michigan that they have more snow whenever they get more snow than we do.

It’s time to let the chickens out of the coop for the day, and then I need to get back to my crocheting…

 

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3 Comments on “Forest Bathing

  1. Cute little mitten and UP design on your potpies TJ. 🙂 Be careful crocheting too much with your sore hand and to avoid carpal tunnel – my mom got it from making too many afghans … two for my grandmother and one for her and one for me for while watching TV. The snow is beautiful in your picture.

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      • It made a nice “impression” on the pie! I do tell women who are avid knitters or crocheters so they don’t have the same thing happen to them. I have something bothersome on my left arm and it started up about three or four weeks ago. All Summer I noticed I had a difficult time closing the car door on the driver’s side but lately I am having a problem reaching behind me or reaching up high. I think it is due to the way I sit at the kitchen table with my laptop which is on the table. I’ve tried reconfiguring the top of the table and trying to work through this but it comes at a bad time of year as we get ready to get snow. For now, I had to hire someone as I don’t want to do any damage to my arm. They may say it is an El Nino Winter but I no longer think that is happening. I am waiting for Paul Gross to do an update since he said there are some “chinks in the armor” of our El Nino. Ugh!

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